The Top Childcare And Gross Motor Development Questions

Posted on: 16 May 2022

How can childcare help your preschool to build new physical skills? The early education curriculum won't only help your child to develop academic abilities. Along with early literacy, basic math, science, and the arts, the daycare day also includes movement-based activities. If you want to learn more about exercise in the early childhood classroom, take a look at the questions parents have answered.

What Is Motor Development?

You've heard the terms motor development or gross motor developmentā€”but you're not sure what these early childhood terms mean. Also known as physical milestones, gross motor development includes movements of large muscle groups. Infant gross motor development starts as rolling and moves on to sitting up unassisted, crawling, standing (or the child pulling themselves up to a standing position), and eventually cruising and walking.

As your child transitions into the toddler years, they refine basic gross motor skills and begin to build leg and arm strength, balance, and the ability to move in more complex ways. By the time your child reaches the preschool period (three to five years of age), they can do much more. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), preschoolers can usually walk well, run, jump, or ride a tricycle. 

How Can Childcare Services Help A Preschooler To Build Gross Motor Skills?

Again, early childhood education goes well beyond basic academics. Along with reading, writing, and math, your child will engage in movement activities that help to build muscle strength, coordination, and balance. The specific activities your child tries will depend on the program, the curriculum, and the teacher's lesson plans. These could include:

  • Free play. The early childhood educator may give the preschoolers the chance to develop movement skills without specific directions. During free play periods the children may have the chance to walk, run, jump, twirl, hop, or play in other ways outside or in larger indoor spaces.

  • Dance to music. A classroom dance party is an easy way for preschoolers to build coordination, balance, and more. This type of activity also introduces the young child to the performing arts (dance and music).

  • Games. Even though simple ball toss or kickball games may seem more like play than developmental activities, these options can help the young child to build arm and leg types of gross motor skills. Games can also encourage social development and help children to improve critical-thinking skills.

To learn more about the gross motor activities in your child's classroom, talk to the teacher. The early childhood educator can provide you with information on lessons and free play activities. They can also help you to extend the activities with at-home gross motor play ideas.